Monthly Archives: July 2013

LA Trip: Saturday Night

We knew that for a Saturday night vacationing in LA, we wanted to go out, so we pre-booked appointments at DryBar and Blushington, which conveniently happen to be situated right next to each other on Sunset.

I love the concept of these specialized boutiques. For $95* each, we got shampoos, scalp massages, and blow outs at Dry Bar and full faces of airbrush makeup at Blushington. Obviously, I would not ever do something like this normally, but for vacay, I was willing to spurge!

At DryBar, Arch chose the…

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And I chose the…

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Then we walked right over to Blushington and got our faces done. I may or may not have taken a few bathroom selfies.

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We took one last Instagram selfie of ourselves all dolled up while we waited for our Uber ride…

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…then we headed to Sur!

Before planning our trip, I had never heard of Sur, and I had only briefly heard of Vanderpump Rules. One of Arch’s friends suggested Sur, and it was only through Yelp reviews that I realized this place had some sort of fame attached to it. The ambience was right for the type of evening we wanted, so TV show or no, we made reservations. The meal may have been more fun had I watched the show ahead of time, but since we only saw one person from the show, I guess I’m glad I had no prior knowledge because I would have ended up disappointed!

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The restaurant itself was great! We had a couple of cocktails at the bar while waiting for our table (we were early for our reservation), but we didn’t have to wait long and were seated soon outside on the patio. Our waiter was Peter from the show (although we didn’t know that at the time), who was super nice, if not a bit quiet.

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Arch had the Ahi Tuna ( which she said was good), and I had the Lemon Chicken Piccata (also good).

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After dinner, we discovered the infamous Pink Sur Car, and we of course had to be touristy.

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After dinner, we joined up with the Hollywood Club Crawl, and went to Couture and Boulevard 3.

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And we called it a night! Brunch at Lola’s tomorrow!

*The price of $95 does not include tax, gratuity, and the free airbrush special we took advantage of.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with DryBar or Blushington – just a fan.

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LA Trip: Saturday Day

Here is another installment of my recent trip to LA with Archana of Awkward Curry. Saturday was such a jam packed day that I decided to split it into two posts. Here is what we did during the day!

We started the day with breakfast at an awesome little place I found on Yelp called Grub. It was such a quirky little place, and I knew we had made the right choice when we were immediately served a bowl of various types of dry cereal as an “appetizer.” Cute.

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Left: What’s breakfast without mimosas? Right: Some of the quirky decor.

From breakfast, we headed to Hollywood Blvd. where we did some light shopping while we waited for our tour to begin. We did walk around Grauman’s Chinese Theater a bit, but the sun was SO intense during this time that it wasn’t very enjoyable to walk around anymore, so we headed inside to the candy store where we were to wait and spend all of our money for the tour to start. This store had some cool stuff, but nothing I was willing to actually buy.

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Finally it was time for the tour! We had decided we wanted to go on the quirkiest tour we could find, so we chose the Haunted Hollywood tour through Starline Tours. Perhaps it was a little too quirky because it was comprised of us and only 2 other girls.

The tour was interesting. We saw places where celebrities had died or been murdered. Our guide also pointed out random places as well, such as places where certain movies had been filmed or random celebrity homes. The following are an assortment of photos that I took on the tour. These were the places I found most interesting, but also the places I actually remember, as I had several more pictures on my phone but I couldn’t remember the significance of them!

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The intersection where the opening scene of Rebel Without a Cause was filmed. Right photo source

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A shot of the Hollywood Hills (which I love) and the famous Whiskey A Go Go (Jim Morrison’s spirit is said to still hang out here).

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Top: The house where the Osbournes lived while filming their reality show. Afterwards, they sold it to Christina Aguilera, who just recently sold it. Bottom: The gate to Ringo Starr’s current home. Love the iron stars.

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Here’s the morbid stuff – Top: The property that was the site of the Sharon Tate party murders. The actual house was torn down in 1994, and this mansion was built on the property. It is currently for sale, but no one wants to live there because of all the bad vibes. Supposedly Sharon Tate’s spirit still roams about, asking about her baby. You can read about the horrible murders here (which I personally find fascinating, in a non-creepy way…I used to want to be a criminal psychologist) and the history of the original home here. Bottom: The house where Michael Jackson died. This is the window to the bedroom where his body was found.

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Top: The main house used in the original Nightmare on Elm Street film. This modest home was purchased last month for $2.1 million. Bottom: The other house used in the film. This is the house where Johnny Depp’s character lived. You can read more about both of these locations here.

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We got off the tour bus for a walking tour of the beautiful Westwood Village Memorial Cemetery. Here are just a few of the celebrities buried here.

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One of the coolest things to me was seeing where Marilyn Monroe is buried. I would have had added my pucker to the rest, but I didn’t have any lipstick on me! The empty space to the left of her grave belongs to Hugh Hefner, who will be buried there when he dies. I just recently found this interesting article about tomb above Marilyn’s.

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Top: The gate to the famous Greystone Mansion. This place is said to be very haunted and was the inspiration for Disney’s Haunted Mansion. It was also a filming location for many films, including Batman and Robin, The Witches of Eastwick, the ’90s Dark Shadows series, and The Social Network. Also, the bowling alley in the basement is where the famous scene (possible spoilers) in There Will be Blood was filmed. Bottom: The bottom right window is the hotel room where Janis Joplin died.

After our tour, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for that night…

All picture collages were made with Picstitch

How to Transition from Airplane to Rodeo

For my flight to my recent trip to LA, I knew that I wouldn’t have much of a chance (if any) to freshen up at the hotel. We didn’t even know if our room would be ready; therefore, I had to get creative. Obviously, for my travels I wanted to be comfortable, but I also didn’t want to get “Pretty Woman-ed” on Rodeo. I kid. But really.

So I packed a pretty shirt, a nicer cardigan, and a pair of wedge sandals in my carry-on, and it was an easy transition!

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Please excuse my crazy hair. I took these while I was packing and hadn’t tamed it yet!

5 Things I’m Loving This Summer

I have the tendency to discover new things and the declare my “obsession” for them. Interestingly, I will most likely harbor new “obsessions” a few months later, but I think the following are keepers.

1. Eos Chapstick

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I think I’m a little late to this party, but I saw these at Target all the time, and my curiosity finally got the best of me. I’ve only tried the mint, but I absolutely loooove it.

2. Oil of Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream*

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I’m always a sucker for tinted moisturizer, as I don’t really like to wear a lot of heavy makeup. This stuff is good, very good. Not only do I get the fabulous moisture of an Oil of Olay product, but it helps bring some subtle color to my pale, pale skin. I especially love using it in the summer because it is lightweight on hot days so I can barely feel it.

3. Super Fresh Cocktails

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I’ve never been a fan of overly sweet, made-ahead-time, mass-manufactured cocktails; therefore, I’ve been quite pleased that it seems like true mixology is back. We have several establishments here in Indy that pride themselves with handcrafted cocktails consisting of fresh ingredients. Last night I went to a screening, through the Indy Film Fest, of a new documentary about this very topic. It’s called Hey, Bartender, and it was fascinating to me. The event was held at The Libertine Liquor Bar, which I think could become a new favorite for me. Other favorite spots in town for a fresh drink include The Ball & Biscuit and 10-01.

4. Vanderpump Rules

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Before we went to LA, I knew ZERO about this show, but we ended up going to Sur (more on that later). Afterwards, I figured I should watch an episode and see what all the fuss is about. Well, one episode turned into the whole season, and now I can’t stop scouring YouTube looking for interviews. So trashy but so addicting.

5. Grace Helbig (DailyGrace)

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I’ve been a fan for awhile, but I’ve never given her any blog love. Some people find her annoying, but she and I have a similar sense of humor that I love. You have to just watch. Or don’t watch. Or watch.

*Disclaimer: I received a bottle of Fresh Effects BB Cream complimentary from Influenster. All opinions are my own.

Sources: 1 I 2 I 3 I 4 I 5

LA Trip: Friday

Better late than never, huh?

This past week has been crazy busy with tying up loose ends at school and moving my stuff out of my classroom. When I took one final look at my empty classroom, I felt a pang of emotion, but then it was over. That’s a good thing though, right? If I was crazy emotional, then that means maybe I made the wrong decision.

Anyway, I have SO many pictures from my LA trip that I decided to break each post up into days. I also tried to put as many pictures into collages as I could. Your brain will thank me.

So naturally an early morning layover in Denver calls for one of these:

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I was too early for the restaurant to serve me alcohol right away, but the wait was worth it.

Once Archana and I both arrived in LA, we found each other and checked into our hotel, the Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills.

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Then we did what else? Hit up Rodeo Drive!

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I marveled at all the shops I cannot afford.

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And then we had lunch at the Luxe. Average cheese plate. Delicious Cobb salad.

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After some more window shopping and mirror selfies…

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We stopped at The Cheesecake Factory to use the restroom get some drinks and cheesecake.

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Finally, before we headed back to the hotel, Arch bought herself something pretty from…

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After a short nap, we prettied ourselves up and took a car downtown to meet Arch’s friend Sheena at MoChica. This place had amazing food and will be my first stop the next time I’m in the area.

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We hung out for a bit at Sheena’s and then hit up The Standard rooftop.

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Afterwards, we went to Library Bar, which I of course automatically loved.

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After a few drinks, things got a little weird…

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The last stop of the night was Seven Grand, a famous whiskey bar.

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Afterwards, it was time for a car back to the hotel for some beauty rest for Saturday!

I mean, really, how could you not love this view?

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All picture collages were made with Picstitch

Just do it.

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July Birchbox!

Check out this month’s Birchbox. For me, it’s hit or miss. Lately it’s been hit…will this month’s continue the winning streak?? Dun, dun, dun!

 

Update: So I just received an email from Birchbox, apologizing for apparently sending me a repeat box.  That explains why it was so “blah” this month!  They did give me 100 Birchbox points, so I guess that (sort of) makes up for it.

Life Goals

Some girls are born list-makers, and some girls wish they were.  I am of the latter.  I try to make to-do lists (and sometimes lists OF to-do lists), but I typically never follow through.  In the spirit of CHANGE, I have sat down and made a list of goals I have for my blog and for the near future.  If I put it on the interweb, it HAS to happen, right??

 

In no particular order…

 

1. Time for the blog layout to get a face lift.

2. Create a regular schedule for posts.  Not necessarily a theme each day, per se, but a more routine of the kinds of posts I want.  I feel like right now my blog is sort of random, and that I have moved from a fashion blog to a lifestyle blog, which I am okay with.

3. Create a weekly cleaning schedule for the house, sort of like this or this.  I hate the thought of being a “housewife,” but with my free time, there really will be no excuse not to have a clean house.

4. Work on the various sewing projects I want to do (and blog about them, of course).  Possibly take more sewing classes.

5. Continue my photography class I’m taking and continue to create better pictures.

6. Continue taking pop-up art classes.

7. Begin researching prospective grad schools and masters programs (I currently have no idea which direction I’d like to go).

8. Possibly look for an easy second job, if I find I can’t get enough hours at my restaurant job (although I should be able to).

9. Read! Lots of books!

10. Start writing (non-blog) again!

 

I’m sure I have more, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  This weekend I will be away, meeting my friend Archana, from Awkward Curry, in LA!  We have A LOT of fun things planned, so I should have an awesome wrap-up post up here when I return.

 

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The Times They are A-Changing

I have good news and lukewarm news.

Let’s start with the lukewarm news…

Today I resigned from my teaching job.  I just felt it was time; I’m ready to explore other options in my life.  A part of me feels sad, since teaching has been a part of my life for the past 9 years (if you count college); however, I am excited for a new chapter in my life.  Who knows, maybe I’ll resume teaching in a couple of years?  The MAIN reason I left will be disclosed later, but I’m not ready to share yet (and no, I’m not pregnant!).

The good news is… I can devote real time to this blog, and since I no longer have to worry about students finding me on the interwebs, I can actually market it and take it seriously!

Stay tuned!

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Why I’m Bad at Getting Massages

I love getting massages, and I probably get them more often than most people I know.  They are just something I’m willing to splurge on a few times a year, especially since I get horrible tension in my neck and shoulders and my muscles are full of knots.

However.

I am so bad at getting massages.

What’s there to be bad at, right?  You just lie there.

Right, but you’re practically naked.  And you’re in a teeny-tiny room, dimly lit, with a stranger.  Your decency and modesty are in that person’s hands (literally).  My problem is that I have such an active imagination (see why I’m bad at getting my hair done) that I can convince myself of anything.  I mean anything.

Here my top 3 most awkward massage experiences, from oldest to most recent.  Please note that almost every massage therapist I have encountered has been the utmost professional; most of these experiences were only awkward because of ME.

1. The mister bought me a Groupon for a massage for my birthday a few years ago.  Now I grew up with a mother who liked to use the phrase “Some things you just pay full price for,” and to me, a massage seemed like one of those things; however, he bought it for me, so I of course had to use it.  At the time, I was not as familiar with navigating the downtown area, so I left extra early with handwritten directions and my GPS (my awkward travels is for another post).  It took me a while to find the place because it was inside an office building within a city building, but eventually, I stepped onto a rickety elevator that took me up to…an almost darkened hallway.  I’m not kidding.  There were no doors on this floor, and there was one sputtering light bulb in the corner.  Apparently, the mister had purchased me a Groupon for 50% off a murder.  I was just thinking about how he could have sat me down and had an adult conversation with me instead of hiring a hit, when – miraculously – I saw a sign with the spa’s name on it with an arrow pointing onward.  You would think this would have quelled my fears, but oh, no – this sign was handwritten.  In black Sharpie.  Where the hell had he taken me??  Once I finally found the place, the salon itself was perfectly fine and normal.  I was greeted promptly and taken to my massage room, but the whole time I was lying there, waiting, half naked, I kept thinking about that half-priced murder.  Needless to say, I was never quite able to relax.

2. I now have a particular place that I frequent exclusively.  It is the cheapest place I’ve found in the city, and its two locations are each located in medical facilities, so I can get away with taking off work for a “doctor’s appointment” (just kidding –  I would NEVER do that….).  The place is fabulous, and I have enjoyed working with every therapist I’ve scheduled.  Except one.  This particular massage started out fine…until she starting contorting my body into shapes it’s not meant to be – I’m talking elbows bent backwards; legs up in the air, etc.  Typically you’re on each side of your body once.  Oh no, I started on my back, then to my stomach, then back to my back, each flip more flailing than the last.  I got my butt massaged, which isn’t a big deal, but usually the therapist will first ask if I mind having my glutes massaged.  This chick just dug in.  Then came a chest massage.  No big deal; however, she got so close to my breasts that I thought I was going to have to pay her extra.  Needless to say, whenever I have booked with this place again, I specifically asked to NOT have her (in the nicest way possible, of course).

3.  This massage was the most recent, and it was another Groupon.  I know I should have learned my lesson, but the Yelp reviews on this place are amazing, so I gave it a shot.  The place was fine, and the massage was fine, but the experience itself was the real gem.  The massage started off normally (don’t they always), and there was the typical “soothing, ethnic music,” but I noticed that the music would swell and lower in particular parts of the massage, and it almost sounded like a war movie soundtrack.  When she was slowly rubbing my back, a nice, slow, melodic piece would play (a tender moment between the hero and the heroine – the calm before the storm).  When she was furiously trying to rub out my knots, the dramatic, drum-heavy battle music started (the hero desperately fighting his way back to his love), and towards the end of the massage, a sad yet peaceful tune to end on (the war is over, but the heroine has tragically died).  Let’s go back to that battle music.  During this time is when she focused on my face.  As she did this, I kept thinking, “Please don’t touch my hair…” and of course she did.  She got all up in my hair.  Obviously it is not abnormal to get a head massage, but I had JUST washed my hair the night before with sample shampoo that I was running out of, and I was also trying to limit my washings because I had just gotten my color re-done.  Obviously my fault.  But back to the music: each massive drum beat seemed to coincide with a hair pull, so I kept imagining her sitting there, eyes closed,  massaging my head and pulling my hair with all the tenacity  of a retired musician playing her last show.  The worst part of this experience was that I could not truly enjoy myself (despite all the entertainment I had conjured) because I kept thinking about how this would make a great blog post.